Let’s take a guess: When product build-up has left your hair lifeless and weighing it down, you try to clear up the problem with a regular shampoo or give your scalp a quick clean with dry shampoo. But sometimes your shower options just don’t seem to do the trick (trust us, we’ve been there). If you’re currently struggling with this seemingly never-ending cycle, what you need is a purifying cleanser or treatment. While most stylists recommend buying a specialty shampoo, it’s difficult to spend money on a specialty shampoo that you only use occasionally. But what if we say you don’t?

As it turns out, piling on products isn’t the best way to manage uncooperative hair. The secret to deep cleaning is baking soda, an ingredient you probably have in your pantry right now. As a natural bleaching agent, baking soda for hair gently removes build-up and detoxifies the entire scalp. But before washing your hair with baking soda, there are a few things to keep in mind. We caught up with the experts to get some answers.

See below how to make baking soda shampoo and its benefits for hair and scalp.

Benefits of washing your hair with baking soda
There are many benefits to using a shampoo with baking soda. For one, baking soda does not contain parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, diethanolamine, dyes, or fragrances like many shampoos on the market. Instead, it consists of one naturally occurring ingredient: sodium bicarbonate. “Baking soda is a basic acid neutralizer, which is why it’s so effective at eliminating odors,” says Camp. “Plus, it’s a mild abrasive that dissolves dirt and oil residue and acts as an exfoliator.” Unlike some hair products that leave a filmy layer on the hair, baking soda helps to remove dandruff from the hair. And the best part? It’s also really affordable – a 16-ounce can costs less than a dollar.

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